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Abstract of the study:

In 2020 EUMEPS carried out a survey to set up the state of play of the EPS market and draw a mass flow model of the EPS waste. Data was collected from all 22 National Associations that actively cooperated to provide the most reliable and up-to-date figures for their own market. When a National Association didn’t feel confident with the robustness of data, it preferred not to reply to specific questions, motivating its reasons. Whenever this happened, the survey was completed with the last figures available, specifically Conversio. (1) A number of National Associations only cover EPS insulation materials and have limited knowledge of the EPS waste streams for packaging materials. It is certain from the responses to the survey that this leads to a lower estimate of EPS recycling than what is occurring. To ensure even more reliable data, EUMEPS recommends a European Waste Code for clean, white EPS (typically packaging pure white EPS) and a European Waste Code for other EPS be added.

Data includes the latest EPS production by country (2019) provided by each National Association (2). The EPS waste stream data was collected by category (packaging and construction), subcategory (household and commercial) and application (white goods and food for packaging and cut-offs and demolition for construction); this allows comparisons with previous Conversio/Consulting studies and provides updated data to the CircularPlastics Alliance(CPA) who was collecting it by polymers. Further detailed information was collected in 2021 alongside dedicated activities by EUMEPS, in particular: - Recycling rates from EPS fish box waste produced by a Task Force created to sponsor recycling practices in that category. - EPR schemes info collected during ad-hoc research promoted across all the National Associations. - For competition rules, data for the Netherlands and Romania are aggregated into “Other countries” charts.

The Report is based on the best available data provided by 22 National Associations that collected it from their members (recyclers, converters and raw material suppliers) as well as from other available data on EPS collection, sorting and recycling. The lack of a separated waste code (EWC) for EPS, although repeatedly requested by the EPS value chain, makes data monitoring challenging. Nevertheless, our Association and its members, as signatories of the CPA, are fully committed towards the fulfilment of the EUMEPS Pledge (see page 27) as a contribution to the 10mt Pledge of the CPA. For this reason, more accurate data monitoring has been deployed and an effort has been made to collect the most accurate figures in EPS waste collection and recycling from each country. Said that EUMEPS and the European EPS industry reaffirmed the need to have a separate waste code for EPS which would make data monitoring simpler and more accurate.